An extremely infectious illness from the start of coughing
until about four weeks later. Keeping your child isolated at home is important
to prevent infection in others, especially babies. Immediately, and in all
cases, understanding the public health responsibility and to make choices about
treatment options including antibiotics. The disease is dangerous for infants,
especially under six months of age. Physician involvement from onset of
illness is urgent.
Incubation period: 7-14 days
Stage One = catarrhal stage.
The first sign is a harmless cough for 10-15 days, often a
slight rise in temperature, a runny nose, sneezing, and loss of appetite.
Stage Two = paroxysm.
Children develop the crowing noise (whoop) as they try to
draw breath. Loud staccato cough, face may swell up and turn blueish. At first
the coughing attacks during the night, then also during the day. The child may
cough up mucus, may vomit or gag, or have a few seconds of not breathing.
Exhaustion easily occurs. This stage can last for 20-30 days.
Stage Three = recovery. Coughing lessens, appetite returns.
Full recovery may take two to three months.
Advice for Parents
Always handle the situation calmly and gently. Quietly
encourage the child in this difficult breathing process to breath in and to
cough again. Provide rest, comfort and consolation and a quiet environment
without sense impressions.
Sedatives and cough-suppressants only increase the dangers
of whooping cough. The cough then becomes more infrequent and less strong, so
that mucus remains in the lungs.
Warmth and perspiration
Wrap the child up warmly in bed and give hot Linden Tea so
h/she sweats for some time. Then put dry clothes on and a lemon compress on the
neck and throat or chest. Other remedies: a Lavender compress on the chest,
Cuprum ointment on the soles of the feet. Your physician may prescribe
Pertudoron 1 alternating with 2 (1-2-1-2-1) up to 5 times a day. A hot steam
vaporizer is helpful near the bed. Add some eucalyptus drops. A chamomile
steam inhalation 2-3 times a day for about 10 minutes can bring relief.
Drinks: After each paroxysm offer liquid nourishment. Give
as many fluids as you can: herbal tea, diluted fruit juice, vegetable soup,
spring water. Medicinal teas can include coltsfoot (flowers and leaves - equal
parts) slippery elm, thyme, lobelia, red clover, marshmallow root or a
combination: 1 teaspoon of each red raspberry leaves, coltsfoot, and lobelia.
Pour on one pint of boiling water and steep for thirty minutes. Give a spoonful
every hour until cough abates.
Give small, frequent non-acid, easily digested meals. Offer
fruits and vegetables and avoid dairy products and fats.
Other Sources of
The National Vaccine
Dissatisfied Parents Together 512
Maple Avenue West, #206, Vienna, VA 22180,
New Atlantean Books, PO Box 9638, Santa
Fe, NM 67504
has an excellent selection in their mail order catalog, several by Neil Z.